Three old friends approach a pedestrian crossing near a busy intersection. As the traffic lights change, vehicles hurry through the road junction to where they are to cross.
One friend rushes anxiously across, beating the oncoming cars.
Out of self-preservation, another stands steadfast on the curb.
The third fearfully steps backwards.
They look at one another and laugh; they know each other so well. The first took ground, the second held ground, and the third gave ground.
The friends can stand for distinctive life stances within us. Do we recognise and befriend these inner stances as the friends did?
While we might have a nodding acquaintance with these life stances, often we default to one approach, particularly in a crisis.
What is your unconscious life preference? Do you
- Take ground?
- Hold ground?
- Give ground?
To exercise true human freedom is to choose how we respond instead of our responses choosing as with the three friends.
While we easily default to a preferred stance, freedom involves choosing not to stay stuck in our default position.
This is not a one-off choice; it is a daily struggle. A tussle to keep returning to a place of interior freedom.
Such freedom invites us to embrace our frail humanity instead of deceptively assuming we can be free from our humanness.
After Jesus resurrected, he appeared to his disciples bearing the wounds from his crucifixion. Jesus was not so much free from his wounds but free within his woundedness.
To experience ongoing resurrection in our life is to find true freedom within our wounded humanity not to seek to be free from our humanness.